Taiwan (more pics)

I didn’t take as much pictures as last year.  When I got home, I ran out of space on my laptop so I had to delete quiet a few pictures (both old and new).  And my laptop is acting up as well.  I frequently get pink lines and green lines on white areas and dark areas.  An Apple dealer says it’s likely the motherboard.  None of these pics have been edited.  I just dumped them into iPhoto.

This was a temple in Jiufen.  If you take the stairs from the police station all the way to the top, it’s just off to the left. I believe it’s called Shengming Temple.  It’s a quiet area to rest up a bit.

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In the narrow paths of Jiufen, there are many stores, stalls and restaurants.  This store had a steady line up.  The large block on the bottom right is like a peanut brittle.  The guy would shave some of it using what looks like a wood shaver.  Put the peanut shavings into a thin “crepe”, add a couple of scoops of ice cream and roll it up.

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The paths (I can’t really call them streets) are narrow and jammed with people.  It wasn’t easy taking pictures because people would bump into you.

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This is back in Ximen, Taipei.  I just wanted to point out how large the mangoes are.  This small stall did a steady business and that lady was kept busy peeling and cutting fruits.

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We took the high speed train to Kaohsiung (Zuoying station) and it was quite pleasant.  There are express trains and tickets can be purchased in advanced.  You can also reserve seats at the business class or regular.  We took business because I’m a demanding traveler.  The express train took about an hour and half from Taipei to Kaohsiung.  The actual station is called Zuoying.

Of course we had to go to the night market.  We went back to Liuhe Night market because it was easier for us to get there.

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This guy cooked our dinner one night.  J recognized him (even with the mask) and swears he cooked for us last year too.

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This was one of the dishes we ordered – scallops.  It came with a lot of garlic and onions which I devoured.  I think it got rid of my cold faster.

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Noodles anyone?

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Another young chef.

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While in Kaohsiung, we took a bus from the train station to Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple / Monastery.  It’s a huge complex and there are actually 2 “campuses”.  We paid to ride a shuttle from one campus to the other.  We got there in the afternoon and walked a lot.  As we were taking pictures of the Buddha during dusk, J casually asked the nun when the last bus was.  We only had about 20 mins to catch it and we did.

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One drizzly late afternoon, we decided to check out the Lotus Pond which was near the High Speed Rail station.  We had difficulty finding the bus from the train station.  J asked a couple of folks and one guy pointed us to the right bus.  He even got on the bus with us and got off to make sure we got to the Lotus Pond.  We didn’t make it around the pond (actually a small lake).  It was dark and it started to pour.  I kept my camera under my jacket.  The 2 pagodas below are the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas.  You enter the Dragon and exit the Tiger for good luck.

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From Kaohsiung, we took a bus from the HSR train station to Kenting.  We took this bus last year and knew where to find the small booth for tickets and where the bus stop was.  We were only there for a couple of days last year and this year we stretched that out for almost a week.  We took in the night market almost each night.  The difference with this night market is that the streets are not closed off.  There are stalls / booths and restaurants on each side of the street with buses, cars and scooters passing through.  There were some unique looking stalls like the one below.  There were several stalls that even had a pizza oven.  There were booths that sold alcoholic drinks.  There were small trucks that transformed themselves to a mobile bar each night.  The only odd thing about the night market was the lack of garbage cans.  There was a fair bit of litter.  Some of the folks chose to carry their garbage with them throughout the night.  Some of the vendors will take their own stuff back.  One sad note – I saw a beggar eating scraps of food from the many bags tossed to the ground.  I approached him with some spare change which he refused.  He kept pointing to his scrap food as if to say I have something to eat.  I still remember his face.

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I was always so paranoid about the traffic in the night market.

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We ate here a couple of times.  He only sells clams.  I was worried I would get sick but I didn’t.  The clams were delicious.

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We found the local bus to take us to the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium.  I love aquariums although I recognize that something needs to be done about the whales and dolphins in captivity.  It was a nice visit and I even got to touch a sea urchin.  We managed to grab the last bus out of the facility but we had to transfer to another bus to get home.   Some of the buses here have manual transmission which I thought was interesting.  I don’t see that at home at all.

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The first couple of days in Kenting were cloudy with some drizzle.  But the skies cleared afterwards and we were blessed with sunny weather.  By that time, I stopped bringing the camera to the beach.  This is Xiao Wan – a quiet little beach free from most tour buses.

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We went back to Taipei after Kenting.  After a few days of vegging out, it was tough to walk again.  This free style rapper was at Ximen.  I found out his name is Husky.  He canvassed the audience for some words / topics and just started to rap.    The audience seemed to enjoy his show.  I didn’t understand the lyrics (J had to translate some of them for me afterwards) but I really enjoyed how he was able to connect with his audience.  By the end of his set, he was drenched in sweat.

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From the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall – they also have a changing of the guards.  This hall also had a small gallery in the basement and numerous exhibits in the upper floors and lower floors.  And yeah – it’s also jammed with tourists like me.

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That’s it for now.  I better get to work.

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18 thoughts on “Taiwan (more pics)

  1. Wow! I really enjoy your photos, Matt! Sounds like you two had a wonderful time! So much to comment on from your photos…but I seem to be stuck on the food! Wow! All of the food looks so delicious! 🙂

    Love the architecture, artwork, and lights! The night photos are so cool! 🙂

    That is so sad about the beggar. 😦 It was nice of you to offer to help. Interesting how he was satisfied with the scraps he had. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with the homeless…seeing what they need and providing food, water, blankets…even places to sleep and jobs…some want all that and some are content with where they are and are just happy for someone to talk to.

    Thank you for sharing your travels with us!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  2. That’s what’s so great about your entries, the human connection that you seem to always be able to observe and write about. Sad to read about the beggar but yes very interesting how he didn’t want your help. I also like the name of the rapper. I always find that Asians always choose such interesting English names for themselves. I wonder how they decide…?

    I’ve been to Taiwan many times before but I’ve seen so little of it so it’s always nice reading your posts. It gives me a list of things to see and do next time, although I’m sure I won’t get a chance to do it again since I’ll just be stay in F’s small home town again and just chill/eat like I always do.

    I particularly like the photos of the temple, Buddha statues and pagodas especially the one of the pagodas lit up at night.

    • Thanks for the compliment, I’m touched. 🙂

      This is my third time in Taiwan (I was there once when I was a kid). I think you should do some exploring next time you visit Taiwan. It may require a fair bit of juggling of your schedules but I think it’ll be worth it. Although J did a lot of the translation (e.g. asking bus drivers / cab drivers etc…), I think I could still manage although it won’t be as seamless.

      I have some decent shots of Longshan temple at night. J had to go back to pick up some things at night. While I waited for him, I just took pictures.

  3. Very nice impressions. I envy you for your photo skills. I have always shied away from the night markets because crowded and not being a fan of food late at night. But I will venture there next time since it seems to be really worth it.

    • Thank you and I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I took a ton so I was happy some turned out nicely as I’m very rusty with my photography and with my camera. Cute guys? uhm… just a coincidence I guess. 😉

  4. you and J seem to have an adventurous trip. sad about the beggar, but i have to give him a salute of respect for wanting to not waste food and refusing your donation. may he gets to have more food in future. god bless him.

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